After three weeks of training, 29 agricultural extension workers from Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Bulacan are now ready to train rice farmers in their areas on high-quality inbred rice production, farm mechanization, and pest and nutrient management.
Lea Abaoag, head of Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice)’s Technology Management and Services Division (TMSD), said that this strategy of combined training was pilot tested in this batch.
“In this training, we combined the topics on producing high-quality inbred rice, farm mechanization, and pest and nutrient management, which were usually taught in separate trainings. This is to ensure a more efficient and effective training that strengthens the knowledge and skills of our future trainers,” Abaoag explained.
Prior to their participation in this training, the participants underwent an online refresher course for a week. Depending on the results of the evaluation of the course, combined training may be offered in the future.
Emma Tolentino of Tarlac, 64 and was the oldest to graduate, shared that the ToT gave her a valuable experience.
Tolentino was hesitant to attend the training because of her age, but she said that the training facilitators made her experience easier, and she hopes to do the same for the farmers she will train in the future.
“Learning is a continuous process and part of that is sharing the lessons you learn to others. I can’t wait to return to our barangay to spread more efficient farming practices,” she said.
Ednalyn Florano of Bulacan said she is also excited to share her learnings to the farmers.
“I can’t wait to become a facilitator because I know I’ll be doing my best in imparting my knowledge on the PalayCheck System to the farmers. I’m confident that they can learn a lot from me because this training equipped me with the right knowledge to do so,” she said.
The Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund – Rice Extension Service Program (RCEF-RESP) is a component of Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) authored by Sen Cynthia A. Villar. The RTL allocates P1 billion every year to enhance the capacities of rice farmers to become competitive in rice production. For more information about the program, queries can be sent to DA-ATI thru 0920 946 2474. (Aura Shaznay Tumulak, PhilRice)